10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Children

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Last Update Date: 09 September 2020

Mindfulness is a state of mind, which everyone, regardless of age, should try to adopt and maintain. As always, the best way of teaching mindfulness to children is to be a mindful parent yourself. But how to practice mindful parenting?

Here are ten easy mindfulness tips for parents that you can implement to your daily routines, and that will help you explain mindfulness to kids.

What Is Mindful Parenting?

We hear you say, “But, what is mindful parenting?” As a quick reminder, mindfulness is about being present, accepting the truth, recognizing your feelings, and accepting your thoughts without any criticism. Therefore mindful parenting is being present for your children and bringing your conscious attention to what's happening, instead of getting hijacked by your emotions, even in stressful moments.

The critical point here is understanding that mindfulness isn’t a meditation retreat in which you only focus on yourself. On the contrary, you have to be there and present to be able to accept, appreciate, and seize the moment.

Here is the tough part. We are aware of how hard mindfulness-based parenting can be, let alone teaching kids mindfulness. With the hectic school programs full of PTA meetings, chores, work, and parenting itself, mindful parenting may seem like a luxury.

We gathered the best mindful parenting strategies that are very easy to apply to your daily lives, and that will help with teaching mindfulness skills to kids and teens.

How to Teach Mindfulness to Kids?

Parents are the foremost role models and teachers of children. It is also a known fact that one’s parenting style reflects on and builds children’s characters. Therefore, parents who implement mindful parenting skills have a better chance of teaching mindfulness to children.

Don’t Multitask

We have a general understanding that multitasking is a good thing because we get many things done in a short amount of time. However, it contradicts with the mindful parenting definition itself. We live almost half of our lives on autopilot, seeing nearly everything as just tasks to fulfill.

This sets a bad example for our children. We should focus on doing the task, not getting over with it. Instead of taking on 3 different tasks all at once and finishing them in an hour, try to complete each task in 20 minutes.

how to be a mindful parent

To keep up with your new routine, using a schedule or calendar might help. Schedule your and your children’s day and keep track of them both. This way, you can teach your children responsibility, the importance of focusing on tasks, and the value of time.

Completing a task without any distractions requires a full focus and concentration span. However, children and adults may experience difficulties while trying to do so.

MentalUP is an educational gaming app designed for both children and adults. With short daily exercises, you can improve your attention span and even develop other skills.

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Mindful Listening

Mindful listening for kids is an essential trait for them to own, and performing it yourself will not only encourage them, but it is also one of the best mindfulness resources for parents.

mindful listening for kids

When parents adopt mindful parenting, they listen with their full attention and observe the situation without any criticism. Feel your surroundings while doing so. It can take a lot of patience and practice; however, in the end, you will see how your children will be more open and honest with you.

Control Feelings

Mindful awareness parenting requires being aware of your feelings and learning how to control them. In other words, don’t react but respond to your senses. Don’t yell to show anger or pout to show frustration. Think before you overreact. Modeling emotional awareness is a crucial factor in teaching mindfulness to children.

Especially if you have a toddler in the house, you may have to be even more careful. Teaching mindfulness to toddlers may seem something that can be delayed, however, they are more likely to pick up on your feelings.

Even if they may not understand, they can feel your emotions which will reflect on them greatly. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree they say. Therefore, being a mindful parent is a great way of teaching mindfulness to toddlers.

mindfulness tips for parents

When you think that you need a time-out to digest your feelings, take it. Keep in mind that mindfulness is not about suppressing your emotions but about nourishing them. The critical point is to take a second to evaluate if it’s the right amount of feeling that you’re demonstrating.

Don’t Chase Perfectionism

Trying to be perfect puts too much pressure on everybody. So what if there’s a chocolate stain on your son’s sweater or if your daughter wore her dress inside out? If your youngster got a low grade on her physics exam, is it the end of the world?

mindful parenting definition

Letting go of perfectionism is a way of explaining mindfulness to kids. Lower your expectations, notice the potential in your children but don’t rein them harshly for them to achieve it.

Mindfulness is accepting the truth and only the truth, free of judgment. When your children realize how you handle situations and that you accept things as they are, this allows them to develop mindfulness and evaluate their feelings as well.

Grow Compassion

We all need compassion to accept ourselves and others. Having compassion is one of the mindful parenting strategies that enable you to accept your children for who they are. As a result, your children will find the strength within themselves to build their own character without fearing judgment or criticism.

explaining mindfulness to children

Having compassion is not only the right way of teaching kids mindfulness, but it also teaches them kindness and reduces your stress levels as stress is the nemesis of mindful parenting.

Don’t Overstress

We hear you say, “Wow, really?” Actually, a little stress can be beneficial, but extreme stress is bad for your mental, physical and social health. However, as mindful parenting strategies require extra calmness and stress-free minds, practicing mindfulness also helps us achieve just that.

Think about the things you stress out about. Do you have control over the situation? Should you be stressing or just searching for solutions? Mindfulness allows you to accept things and when you do, you can find that some things do not change no matter how much you stress over them.

mindfulness for parents

Everything we experience affects our children. Our emotions, our thoughts, and our stress. Studies show that children experience stress mostly due to parental stress. Therefore, as we integrate letting go of perfectionism, having compassion and other mindful parenting strategies into our daily lives, we get a better chance of pursuing a stress-free life and teaching mindfulness to children.

Be Present

Being present is the foundation of mindfulness. It may seem difficult to always be present (with full attention) in our children’s lives. However, as you maintain the strength of being aware and focused on the now, your children will be able to appreciate that and develop mindfulness themselves.

mindfulness based parenting

When you are present, you make healthier decisions, notice your children’s and other’s needs, and develop a sense of gratitude. You understand their behavior and these changes help explaining mindfulness to kids as actions speak louder than words.

Take a breath and try to gather your focus on the dinner table where there is an ongoing conversation, to your family movie time or to the game that you’re playing with your children. Don’t let your mind wander off to other things that don’t have anything to do with the present.

Living in the present requires improved listening and focusing skills. The best way to provide these skills to children is, no doubt, games.

Over 5 million families around the world benefit from the 100+ games that MentalUP provides. From enhancing attention skills to boosting memory skills, MentalUP is designed explicitly for the development of mental skills.

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Communicate

As we mentioned before, mindfulness isn’t a meditation where you zone yourself out. On the contrary, it is more about realizing everything going on, even the ones you would normally ignore.

As much as we would like to believe that we are engaged with our children, our hectic daily lives can get in the way of actually communicating with them. Sparing time to notice your children’s needs, thoughts and emotions and encouraging them to express themselves is a practical way of teaching kids mindfulness.

how to explain mindfulness to a child

S.T.O.P.

There can be times when you feel so overwhelmed that you need a time out. In these hectic times, S.T.O.P. is a mindfulness technique that helps you ease your mind, be present and process your feelings.

mindful awareness parenting
  • Stop what you are doing, pause every emerging thought and feeling.
  • Take a few deep breaths and concentrate on the present, pull yourself to now.
  • Observe what is going on, notice your surroundings and the actual truth without any judgments.
  • Proceed with actions, thoughts, and feelings that you see necessary. Now that you have taken a moment to evaluate the situation, you will be able to make more mindful decisions.

Use MentalUP App to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

Mindfulness-based parenting is a good way to start teaching mindfulness to children. How about stepping up the game?

It is a known fact that games can be the best way to teach children. Therefore, MentalUP has games specifically designed to teach children mindfulness and help them embrace this technique.

It’s not only for kids either! You can use MentalUP to relieve stress, calm your mind and sort your thoughts on your journey with mindful parenting. All you have to do is sign up for free and enjoy your mindfulness.

Don’t forget to follow our blog for more parenting tips and articles on children’s mental development.

MentalUP is an educational and entertaining gaming app that allows both children and adults to improve their skills. All you have to do is practice daily exercises, which enable you to track your progress later on.

Try MentalUP now!